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MLB Opening Day: Thursday Breakdown

Welcome to Opening Day of the MLB season! Unfortunately, two scheduled games have already been postponed thanks to April weather. There are six MLB games on the DraftKings slate with the opening pitch at 4:10 p.m. EDT. Let's try and get you started on the right foot this season.

Here are some recommendations for your DFS lineups.

Pitchers

Shane Bieber, CLE at KC ($8,300): Bieber will make the first-ever start for the newly-christened Guardians. He's a Cy Young winner who has been limited by injury the last couple of years, but he had a 3.02 FIP in 16 starts last season. The Royals were 24th in runs scored in 2021, and they didn't add much this offseason.

Adam Wainwright, STL vs. PIT ($7,500): In his age-39 season, Wainwright surprisingly managed a 3.05 ERA, and a 2.74 ERA at home at that! Wainwright is at home here, and this is also likely going to be a favorable matchup. The Pirates were last in runs scored in 2021, and nobody would be surprised if that was the case in 2022 as well.

Zack Greinke, KC vs. CLE ($5,700): Greinke has the lowest salary of any starter Thursday, which could make him worth a roll of the dice. Hey, it's Opening Day. Greinke's arm has had plenty of rest. He's returned to the Royals. Cleveland's offense is basically Jose Ramirez and a bunch of random guys. You could save a lot of salary here, and maybe get some real bang for your bunch.


Top Targets Jose Ramirez, CLE at KC ($5,600): I just mentioned Ramirez, who brings his one-man offense to Kansas City on Thursday. Last season he posted an .893 save percentage with 36 homers and 27 stolen bases. It was the third 20-20 campaign of his career, and he doesn't need good teammates to get hits, home runs, and stolen bases. Pete Alonso, NYM at WAS ($4,800): Alonso is living in the shadow of his 53-homer rookie campaign, but let's not knock the 37 home runs he hit last season. Patrick Corbin was a disaster for the Nationals in 2021. He allowed righties to hit .302 against him and allowed 1.94 home runs per nine innings.


Bargain Bats Eddie Rosario, ATL vs. CIN ($4,200): I don't expect Rosario to keep that postseason level going, and he rarely takes walks, but he has a 30-homer season to his name and last year he had double-digit homers and stolen bases. Tyler Mahle, meanwhile, has a career 4.34 ERA for the Reds. Keibert Ruiz, WAS vs. NYM ($3,600): Ruiz was the jewel of the Max Scherzer/Trea Turner trade for the Nationals, and if he lives up to his tools he could end up the best-hitting catcher in baseball as soon as this season. Meanwhile, meet your Opening Day starter for the Mets: Tylor Megill. Scherzer and Jacob deGrom are both unavailable. That leaves Megill, who had a 4.68 FIP as a rookie.


Stacks to Consider Padres vs. Madison Bumgarner ($5,900): Manny Machado ($4,800), Luke Voit ($3,500) Wil Myers ($3,400) Bumgarner's first season as a Diamondback was terrible, but it was only nine starts during the COVID-19 season. Maybe that was a fluke. Well, last season he had a 4.63 FIP and gave up 1.48 homers per nine innings. Yeah, still not good. Arizona also still has an offense-happy ballpark. Since Bumgarner is a lefty, I have three righties to stack. Since 2019, Machado has a .946 OPS versus lefties. He's also hit at least 28 home runs in each of MLB's last six full season. Voit is a new addition making use of the new universal DH rule. He has a career .510 slugging percentage. Myers has an .893 OPS against southpaws since 2019, and he had 17 homers and eight stolen bases in 2021. Cardinals vs. JT Brubaker ($7,500): Nolan Arenado ($5,900), Paul Goldschmidt ($5,300), Dylan Carlson ($4,800) Talk about slim pickings for the Pirates. Brubaker is their Opening Day starter and he had a 5.15 FIP and allowed 2.03 home runs per nine innings in 24 starts in 2021. He also had a 6.78 road ERA. In his first season away from Coors Field maybe Arenado's numbers dropped a bit, but he still had 34 home runs and tallied 105 RBI. Last year Goldschmidt slashed .294/.365/.514 with 31 home runs and 12 stolen bases. The switch-hitting Carlson started to show his promise in his age-22 campaign in 2021. He hit .66 with 18 home runs, and Carlson has enjoyed life in St. Louis so far. He has a career .837 OPS at home.



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